Lillian Armfield

Trailblazing Australian policewoman

Lillian Armfield was a trailblazing Australian police officer who played a pivotal role in fighting crime in Sydney during the early 20th century. Born in New South Wales in 1884, Armfield was one of the first female police officers in Australia.

Armfield began her career in law enforcement in 1915, when she joined the New South Wales Police Force as a Special Constable. She was not given a uniform, gun or badge. She quickly proved herself to be an effective and dedicated officer, and was soon promoted to the rank of Constable.

As a police officer, Armfield was known for her tireless work ethic and her commitment to fighting crime. She was involved in a range of high-profile cases, including the arrest of notorious criminals like Tilly Devine and Kate Leigh.

Armfield’s greatest contribution to law enforcement was her work in the area of forensic science. She was a pioneer in the field of forensic photography, and was one of the first police officers in Australia to use photography as a tool for crime scene investigation.

Armfield was also instrumental in the establishment of the Criminal Investigation Branch, a specialized unit of the New South Wales Police Force that focused on investigating serious and organized crime.

Despite facing significant challenges and discrimination as a female police officer in a male-dominated profession, Armfield was respected and admired by her colleagues and by the public. She retired from the police force in 1949, after more than three decades of dedicated service.

Today, Lillian Armfield is remembered as a pioneering and trailblazing figure in Australian law enforcement. Her legacy lives on in the many women who have followed in her footsteps, and in the ongoing fight against crime and injustice.

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